April 3, 2012

Special General Meeting of Triathlon NSW – Have Your Say

Please find attached a notice of a Special General Meeting of Triathlon NSW Ltd to be held on the 29th April 2012, the Sunday following the NSW Club Championships, at Forster.

Any individual member may attend the meeting and participate in any discussion but only one nominated individual from each Club, usually the Club President or their nominee, may vote on the proposed resolution.

The intent of the resolution is that all members of clubs be members of the State and National Associations as is the case in both WA and NTat this time. Your Board believes that for your association to be effective and truly represent the interest of you as triathletes that it needs to be resourced appropriately and with numbers comes power, whether that be in negotiating with Government for access to courses and or funding, or with potential sponsors and partners to improve the resouces available to your sport.

Please click here for the Notice of Meeting.

A copy of the Triathlon NSW Ltd Constitution showing the proposed amendments highlighted may be found here

Phil Dally
General Manager
Triathlon NSW Ltd

Comments so far:
I’m with the others. There is no reason to vote for this and every reason not to.

TA does not have the right to impose who should be the only recognised authority for triathlon in NSW and Australia on Clubs – they have proved in the past to be unable to manage their affairs in a professional manner and should be held more accountable. They have lost members money, wasted on failed event management, legal battles & high paid executives that have left the organisations in a weakened and compromised position.
Although Phil Dally (and my comments are not a reflection on Phil at all) has restored some order in the house it is way too early to be considering handing over this sort power.
My view is if they do a great job and provide noticeable benefits to those who join then people would want to be members, that’s how it works in the real world.
The easy option for TA and TA NSW is to whack people with a stick (to get more money) and that is what this motion sets out to do.
The question is will this motion make a better TA and will it encourage more Mums, Dads and kids to join their local tri club?? No Way!!
I STRONGLY oppose supporting this motion.

So if this passes, we are mandated to belong to Triathlon Australia and Triathlon NSW every year. It cost our family (5 people) hundreds of dollars to belong to Tri Australia last year, which is why we didn’t renew our membership this year. Add to that the cost for Tri NSW and this is a substantial amount of money every year for a family of 5 when we already spend so much on Triathlons.
This sounds like a big impact on families, individuals and clubs. Ouch!!!

Basically I am opposed to the idea and agree with Marcus’ comments. However I would assume that the idea would only apply if clubs wanted to be affiliated with TA. If we were able to take out our own insurance independently as a club then there would be nothing to stop us doing what we like for members who have no wish to compete in TA sanctioned races. I also have no idea how TA intend to deal with Ironman events, which as I understand things, sit completely outside their sphere of influence. However to be quite honest, it is now a couple of years since I was a TriNSW board member and I have not paid much attention to the politics of the sport since then.
I would also add that when I was on the board of Bicycle NSW we faced a similar dilemma. One off the main functions of BNSW was to lobby government on behalf of cyclists and it was a recognised fact that the more members they had the more effective the lobbying. At one stage we spoke of offering associate membership free of charge to anyone who wanted it. This membership would not provide any benefits to associates (e.g. insurance), but associates would have received newsletters etc by email which it was hoped, while not adding significantly to the costs of the organisation, could even lead to some of the associates actually taking full membership once they understood the benefits. However the main issue was to have as many names on our member database as possible as a ‘lobbying tool’. I don’t know what eventually became of that idea but think that TA would be better served by adopting a similar approach.

1. It would appear that the prime purpose of TA NSW is to collect more money.
This should only be passed if the prime purpose in the first instance is to make it possible for club members to afford to join the club and to become TA members.
If the membership fee was set low enough then this could be achieved.
For example;
Current TANSW membership for an individual is $100. If membership numbers increased 4 fold with compulsory membership the annual membership fee could be halved or more (not sure what proportion of the fee is the fixed insurance cost) and still maintain TA NSW cost base above what it currently is. Would help to know what their fixed and variable costs are.

My view is in principle we should support this but it aint clear what the outcome would be if this is passed (in relation to the fee structure or even what the increased benefits to clubs and members would be.
Lower entry fees for Tri competitions is not a financial benefit for almost all triathlete (except those seriously competing) nor should be used as an incentive to support the motion. For example I could enter 7 elite energy sprint races as a non-member and the cost of paying the extra ($15) non-TA member entry fee would be $105 and I would have saved only $5 if I were a paid up member of TA NSW.
So I would favor more clarity / transparency from TANSW and the vote be delayed by 12 months.
2. From the perspective of the JBTC, if this is brought in with no significant lowering of TANSW memberships fees there may (will) be a big drop out rate of our members not wanting to or who can’t afford the TA fee.
My view is that for our “small” club, particularly in relation to families, this will create serious problems
So if this is passed and the members don’t want join TA how could we as a club survive loss of paid up members.
We could consider collecting training day fees as an alternate.

2 Comments on “Special General Meeting of Triathlon NSW – Have Your Say

David Griffin
April 4, 2012 at 1:17 am

I think TA’s idea is an unfortunate move. What of the families with multiple children, who would all need to be financial of both our club and TA? Pretty costly. Perhaps the TA Board is unaware of this aspect of clubs. Maybe because there are so many super expensive bikes around the scene a belief has emerged that a few extra $$s is no great problem. I would not like to see this compulsory fee added.

Tony McGowan
April 4, 2012 at 8:14 am

In past years when I’ve been going to do a few races I’ve always joined Tri NSW mainly for no other reason but to support the National Body. For a number of years I haven’ t competed in enough races to make joining up worth while financially.

If the amendments pass as purposed I will never join Tri NSW or Tri Aust again.
The damage they would do to clubs like ours would be immense.

I feel it’s an insult to the many thousands of triathletes who compete every year purely for the fun and are not interested the the elite program or the Olympic program or any of the other programs that the age groupers subsidise year in year out for no personal benefit!

No no no!!!

Tony McGowan

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